Star Trek (1966–1969)
26 user 8 critic

Amok Time 

In the throes of his Pon Farr mating period, Spock must return to Vulcan to meet his intended future wife, betrothed from childhood.


Joseph Pevney


Gene Roddenberry (created by), Theodore Sturgeon

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Episode complete credited cast:
William Shatner ... Capt. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy ... Mr. Spock
DeForest Kelley ... Dr. McCoy
Celia Lovsky ... T'Pau
Arlene Martel ... T'Pring
Lawrence Montaigne ... Stonn
Majel Barrett ... Christine Chapel
George Takei ... Sulu
Nichelle Nichols ... Uhura
Walter Koenig ... Chekov
Byron Morrow ... Admiral Komack


Lately, Spock's behavior has been increasingly and unprecedentedly erratic. When McCoy finds it to be a growing medical risk, Kirk drags the truth out of him: it is the 'blood fever', the one time in a Vulcan's life he regresses to a primitive, hormonal state of mind, setting out to mate for life. He is granted the first request for shore-leave in his entire career to go to Vulcan, asking Kirk and McCoy to join him in his equivalent of a marriage ceremony with his since-age-seven arranged fiancée, T'Pring. But, once on Vulcan, T'Pring halts the matrimony by calling the ancient challenge, whereby a champion of her choice will fight Spock for her. Surprising all, she selects Jim Kirk. He accepts after due consideration only to find, when the first of two dueling weapons are handed out, that the fight is to the death - too late to decline in front of T'Pau, the presiding top official for Spock's family and the most powerful of all Vulcan dignitaries. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

15 September 1967 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the age of the Cold War, the introduction of Chekhov as a character was an attempt to suggest that glasnost existed in the future. See more »


After T'Pring chooses Kirk to be her champion, Kirk and McCoy are speaking with T'Pau. If you look in the background, you will see Leonard Nimoy standing against the wall with his hands behind his back, apparently unaware that he is on camera. Spock is supposed to be off in the corner, deep in the blood fever. See more »


Spock: How do Vulcans choose their mates? Haven't you wondered?
Captain James T. Kirk: I guess the rest of us assumed that it's done... quite logically.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Special Enhanced version Digitally Remastered with new exterior shots and remade opening theme song. Highlights include a new aerial view of the arena with a city in the distance. See more »


Featured in William Shatner's Star Trek Memories (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

The UnTimely Urge of a Certain Vulcan
14 August 2006 | by BogmeisterSee all my reviews

The 2nd season of the original Trek show began with an intriguing glimpse into the backstory of the show's now most popular character, Spock, and his homeworld of Vulcan. The audience of '67 was plunged into the first detailed vision of Vulcan mystique, rituals and ceremony, and most, I would gather, would be quite surprised. Up until this point, the one facet of Vulcan culture which the show stressed (during the 1st season) was logic. When the subject of Vulcan mating methods (itself a daring theme during sixties TV) comes up during this episode, all of us, like Kirk, assumed it would all follow along those logical lines. Not even close. An ancient culture, the Vulcans are still subject to and participate in ancient traditions which precede their turn to logic. But, who would have guessed it would be this violent, this primal?

Contradictions in Spock's behavior abound during this episode and I believed this added to the entire wonderment many fans already had in respect to Spock and his history. Though logic supposedly determines Spock's actions, he keeps his secrets about his sudden need to visit his home planet, even though such an approach would surely cause his death. It doesn't seem like he was counting on Kirk's persuasive abilities as a friend to break through his Vulcan guardedness; instead, Spock seems hellbent on perishing, wrapping himself in solitude and loneliness. The music during these sequences in Spock's quarters conveys an overwhelming sense of melancholy, and it's quite a depressing mood - all the actors are at the top of their game here. I'd have to say my favorite scene, however, is in the turbolift with the main trio; Spock requests Kirk to accompany him down to the planet, as a close friend; there is a pause, and then, as we anticipate, he asks McCoy the same thing - no wisecracks from McCoy here - it's a solemn occasion. The scene is fantastically scripted, directed and acted, especially by Kelley.

Mention should also be made of guest star Lovsky as the high muckety-muck Vulcan priestess - talk about perfect casting. Her accent makes it seem as if she was born to play this role. She utters several words in the Vulcan language and it all rings true. The entire atmosphere on Vulcan, with the decor, the costumes and the Vulcans themselves was never done better (unfortunately). In fact, future Trek series, even TNG, and especially the "Enterprise" show, were never able to capture that terrific exotic feel which we're able to immerse ourselves in during this sequence. These REALLY were Vulcans, not just some actors with strange pointed ears attached. Only actor Mark Lenard was also able to capture that authentic Vulcan sensibility later in this 2nd season, in "Journey to Babel." That episode also explained, more or less, as to why Spock's parents didn't attend this Vulcan marriage ceremony. Ah, poor Spock - at least you chose your friends well.

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